Basic Jazz Concepts •  General rules of articulation The “swing” concept

Basic Jazz Concepts
•  General rules of articulation
•  The “swing” concept
•  Dynamics & Phrasing
•  Nuances
•  Listening
General Rules of Articulation
Points to Remember
  Always play with a legato
connected sound whenever
  Impose a slight tenuto on the
eighth notes that fall on the
downbeat to lengthen the note
in a series of eighth-notes.
  Articulate more of the up beats
than down beats in a series of
  Vary your articulations as
much as you like, to create
your own identity.
•  Articulation vs. rhythm
•  Tempo/style of the composition (e.g.,
ballad, shuffle, straight-ahead) and swing
•  Using syllables: doo-bah, doo-dot
•  The count-off to establish style
Dynamics & Phrasing
•  Notes longer than a quarter-note
•  Balance: unisons vs. tutti
•  Rise and fall of the melodic line
•  Accentuating the change in direction within
a line
•  Slur markings are often phrase markings
Select Jazz Nuances
•  Vibrato
•  Bends
•  Growls
•  Falls
•  Listen often
•  Listen actively to all aspects of the music
and the inflections used
•  Dissect the music, in layers (texture,
instrumentation, isolate certain
instruments, examine articulations and
nuances used)
•  Play recordings in rehearsals
Tolson’s Jazz
•  See p. 75 in Jazz Ped Text
•  Reading example: So What by Miles Davis